With over 50 years of printing and marketing services experience, PIP Printing is one of the leading printing, signs and marketing services franchisors. It’s independently owned and operated PIP centers are located nationwide and in select countries around the globe. Each center is owned and operated by independent franchisees who are independent employers and set their own employment policies and practices and operations.
PIP Peoria has recently upgraded their workflow to include Printer’s Plan MIS and has also begun implementing MyOrderDesk Web-to-Print. Before their switch to Printer’s Plan, PIP used PrintSmith and OTPrint.
I had a chance to discuss the implementation process with Shane Parker, Executive Vice President and Managing Partner of PIP Peoria.
Q: Where did you first hear about Print Reach, Printer’s Plan and MyOrderDesk?
S: I’ve heard a lot about Printer’s Plan from other locations within the PIP franchise. This piqued my interest, and I began to do some research.
Q: How did you decide to go with Printer’s Plan and MyOrderDesk?
S: Originally we were using PrintSmith before 2009, and then OTPrint thereafter. During the annual show, we were looking into Plan Prophet which led to further conversations regarding Printer’s Plan. We quickly realized that most everyone who used Printer’s Plan really liked it, and Plan Prophet accomplished other tasks we were looking for. MyOrderDesk also integrates with Printer’s Plan which makes it a good Web-to-Print choice.
Q: Can you describe the implementation process?
S: We originally set a goal to get the entire implementation done within 2 months. Working with the Print Reach team and specifically my implementation specialist has been nothing short of phenomenal, and we got Printer’s Plan up and running well within our timeframe.
During the first few weeks we had many questions, and they were all answered quickly, and made simple for us to understand. Over the entire course of the implementation process we could meet with our implementation specialist once a week and he provided us with phenomenal support. We were able to contact him at any time, and he would always have time for us. It was amazing to have that kind of support during such a large workflow change for our company. Even after going live, Print Reach still offered us all the help and support we needed for Printer’s Plan to make sure things were running smoothly.
Q: When did you go live?
S: We started our Printer’s Plan implementation in mid October 2019. We got everything rolled out in December, and we went live on January 1st 2020.
Q: What are some of the critical parts of Printer’s Plan that help your company get the job done?
S: We are very impressed with the scheduling tools. Every morning we have a production meeting with the sales rep to discuss the day’s upcoming tasks. We integrate our Quickbooks with Printer’s Plan so that all our data is on the same page, and easily viewable on the screen in front of us. I no longer had to spend literally 3-4 hours preparing spreadsheets and printing out pages of data. All the data we needed to get the day started and running smoothly is right there, instantly available for all to see. This not only saved me up to 4 hours of work a day, but gave everyone a clear vision as to how operations are going, and what still needs to be done.
Q: What would you say to those on the fence in regards to switching their MIS to Printer’s Plan?
S: The entire implementation is a breeze, and not a big deal. Questions were promptly answered, and the support team was available everytime I needed them. Don’t worry, Print Reach and their amazing support staff will help guide you every step of the way, and will answer all your questions.
Q: Tell us about your marketing automation.
S: Our system sends out quote follow ups, proposals and more. If we don’t hear from a customer, the system sends out a followup asking if they are still interested in a project. Inactive buyers will receive emails reminding them of any open tasks. Feedback requests are also sent out after a completed project, so that we can gather valuable information.
Every night we send out a thank you email to anyone who spends $250 that day. Every six months our customers receive a Google review request, so that they can review our company and its services.
Q: Tell us about your business automation.
S: Invoice emails with a link to our payment page are sent out automatically.
Our proofing module sends out proofs to our customers immediately once an order has been placed, allowing them to view and approve their artwork without hesitation.
We have witnessed a 40% gain in changes with proofing and designing alone. It saves us so much time!
Q: What are the biggest differences between OTPrint and Printer’s Plan?
S: The ease of use, and the time it takes to write up an order is far quicker in Printer’s Plan. We save so much time with fewer clicks, which makes our production workflow faster.
Q: How has Covid-19 affected your business?
S: Covid has hit the printing industry pretty hard, and times are rough for many companies. Our industry alone is still down by 20% on average but slowly getting better.
Q: Can you describe the difference between PrintSmith and Printer’s Plan?
S: The ability to customize and get to the end result you are looking for is much better in Printer’s Plan. The layout in PP is just more logically laid out.
Q: You have multiple Web-to-Print portals – are those saving you time?
S: They do when matched with the right customers with the right type of work.
Q: What would you say to a shop who was contemplating adding Web-to-Print portals?
S: Today you have to have a solid easy to use W2P portal. It is tough to even be in the print game without the ability to do this for your customers.
PIP Peoria’s implementation of Printer’s Plan saved their shop time and operating costs. Emails and invoices are nearly fully automatic, allowing print operators to quickly manage the flow of jobs with less touchpoints.
“In conclusion, we have run OTPrint, and PrintSmith, but are most happy with Printer’s Plan. Print Reach’s phenomenal support staff has made our implementation process fun and enjoyable. We noticed huge improvements in our workflow and would recommend everyone on the fence of implementing or upgrading a new MIS system, to simply do it! You will immediately see a large positive impact on your business,” said Shane Parker, Executive Vice President and Managing Partner of PIP Peoria.
Marketing Graphic Designer